The Donor States Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have now announced collaborative research programs with three European countries (Beneficiary States): Romania and Czech Republic; the announcements for Hungary and Latvia are coming soon. Research projects in priority areas like Health and Food Safety or interdisciplinary projects are supported up to three years. Common to all programs is that the projects are sought, led and administered by the Beneficiary States.
All programs focus on knowledge transfer, sustainable bilateral cooperation and researcher mobility, and costs incurred are reimbursed 100 %. Consortia must have at least one partner from one of the donor countries and one from the recipient country. The programs are slightly different according to project size and total budget: projects can be financed by at least EUR 0.1-1 million up to a maximum of 1 – 3 million EUR. 21.7 million EUR (Hungary), 21.6 million EUR (Romania), 15.3 million EUR and 5.5 million EUR are available, with some of the funds earmarked for certain research areas. Some pogrammes announces limited funding for preparatory measures (Hungary, Romania, Latvia) and brokerage events (Romania). Parts of the budget can be allocated to Norwegian partners, with the limit depending on the program.
Chances coming with the EEA grants must be viewed in the context of network establishment within the European area: It is important to identify good partners who are interesting also with respect to possible applications to Horizon 2020. Having an Eastern European country as partner can be a plus when the partner has potential and key expertise, although it is by no means a requirement for a Horizon 2020 application. If you cannot use your own network for partnering, you might use the partner search database provided by the Research Council of Norway, or check partner requests that UiB continuously receives (please contact firstname.lastname@example.org). Further, EEA programs provide a good opportunity for financing and exchange of PhD students, and allow young researchers to gain experience with international cooperation. For comparison: the Polish-Norwegian program could allocate EUR 52.5 million to 68 projects in 2013, with 15 within the Health area (success rate 25 %).
EEA/Norway Grants: http://eeagrants.org/